FRANCE: Fight with the Octopus

On a soft June evening this summer, the police of industrial Lille came upon a man named Bachir Boussaid lying in a back alley with his head split open. The police knew him as a minor Algerian nationalist who had once belonged to the more moderate M.N.A. and then switched his allegiance to the terrorist F.L.N. Boussaid was taken to a hospital where, the police say, his dying delirium was composed almost entirely of names and addresses.

A transcript of Boussaid's last words was forwarded to the Paris headquarters of the Direction de Surveillance du Territoire, the secret-service arm of the...

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